BLOG: Florida in the Center of Climate Change Debate

Climate change
Posted at 1:10 PM, May 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-15 14:46:51-04

Trimmel Gomes is political Contributor for WTXL and owner of Gomes Media Strategies.  Follow him on Twitter @TrimmelG and Facebook


A new National Climate Assessment report says that Florida, particularly South Florida is vulnerable to sea rise, extreme heat and other severe weather events that are being triggered by climate change.  A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced this report that has been reviewed extensively by the public and expert scientists. While President Barack Obama is urging action, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) made headlines over the weekend when he told ABC News that the impact of man-made climate change is being overstated.

“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” Rubio said.

Though he’s not a scientist, Rubio’s statement isn’t far off from many of his Republican counterparts. In 2011, Gov. Rick Scott said he wasn’t convinced there is any man-made climate change, according to a Tampa Bay Times report. Today, Scott dodges the issue by saying, “I’m not a scientist,” and Rubio has been trying to clarify his stance during a recent speech at the National Press Club.

"Headlines notwithstanding, of course the climate is changing. The climate is always changing and that is a measurable that you can see. There is climate change." Rubio said. "The issue is whether there is legislative proposals before us that can do anything about it, what I have said and what I disagree with is the notion that if we pass cap and trade it will stop this from happening." But not all republicans have been reluctant to acknowledge the changing climate. Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist made climate change a priority in 2007 and 2008 as governor. He said global warming is “one of the most important issues that we will face this century,” and hosted two climate-change summits in Miami. This is one area Crist will bypass being labeled a flip-flopper as he challenges Republican Gov. Rick Scott for his seat as a Democrat in the race.

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